- Pets and Animals
Lola, a Human in a Dog's Body
Meet Lola, Our Little Yorkie-Mix "Daughter"
Our Lola, actually Lola Belle, is our feisty little four-legged daughter. Some days my husband and I really do believe she is a human trapped inside a dog's body. Lola was given to me nearly eleven years ago by a coworker, and I immediately fell in love with her big brown eyes. At that time I was going through a very difficult time in my life and Lola was exactly what I needed. Her unconditional love, and her need to be cared for kept me distracted, and really helped me through that dark period in my life.
A couple of years later she was the one who decided I needed to meet the man who is now my husband! As I was checking my mail, Lola ran over to him as if to introduce herself and proceeded to make friends with him. For Lola to do this was highly unusual since she is wary around new people. He, too, was instantly charmed by her "people-like", tendencies and naturally we began chatting and as the old saying goes... the rest is history.
We have been told she is a mix of multiple terriers from Silky, Yorkshire, to Aussie. My husband and I do not really care what her background is because we love her to pieces no matter what. She has our hearts, and you better believe she knows she has us wrapped around her little finger -- I mean paw.
A Little Background on the Terrier Breed
Protective and Loyal
Lola, like most breeds of terriers, loves to hunt, can be quite territorial, but also very loyal to those they love. Like all dogs, Lola demonstrates "pack mentality" and my husband and I are her "pack". She is fiercely protective of her pack, but especially of her Mommy. We never have to worry about anyone getting anywhere near our home without being alerted to a real or perceived threat, since Lola is always on guard duty. On most days she keeps watch from her post on the back of our sofa, which gives her a clear view out our front window.
Lola's dog side comes out when she catches the scent of a bird, squirrel, or rabbit, and she is off to the races!! All we can do is hold onto the leash and enjoy the chase. Luckily, for the neighborhood wildlife, she has never caught one of them but, if she were not leashed, you can be sure she would have snared her share of critters!
Like most of her breed, Lola is somewhat standoffish to those she does not know; and she does not do well with crowds or small children. She is much better warming up to new people one or two at a time, and in her own time. As she has gotten older, she has become less flexible with changes in her environment and routine. Although once she knows and trusts you, lookout because you will have a friend forever.
Amazing story told from the dog's point of view. You will laugh. You will cry. You will be furious. Definite must read!
Human vs. Animal Behavior
Sometimes We Cannot Tell the Difference
When Lola was still a small puppy, I realized right away she was a quite expressive and smart little girl. For example, if I stopped petting her, she would reach up with her tiny paw to touch my face to signal she wanted me to continue with the petting. She even has what the family calls "dog purr"! If she extremely content she will make this soft, sighing sound while being held and loved on. If I am in her way or lying too close, she will jab me with her leg (paw) as if to say, "move it Mom!" Other times she just looks at us so intently my husband and I are convinced she is trying to communicate with us. Take a look at the picture of her here. She seems to be saying, "I am the Queen and this is my throne!" Seriously, there are days when I sincerely wish she could tell me what is on her mind, and then again, maybe it is better she cannot speak... she might just tell all of our secrets!!!!
Does Your Pet Exhibit Human-Like Behaviors?
Does Your Pet Exhibit Human-Like Behaviors?
Separation Anxiety is Common in Pets
Pets Also Suffer From Stress
Lola will let us know right away if she is in distress of any kind. The most obvious of these behaviors is constant panting, pacing, and shaking. This is pretty common among all dogs in stressful situations such as going to the vet or during thunderstorms. However, Lola also responds to change in her routine with anxiety just as some people do. Specifically, if her environment or routine, or both, are changed she may refuse to eat, have diarrhea, vomit, become hyper alert, or unable to relax. Lola's triggers of separation anxiety most often occur if we travel to a new place, if she stays with a new sitter or we have trespassers (AKA: visitors) to our house. I have to admit it took us multiple visits to the vet before we finally discovered these symptoms were the result of pet anxiety and not just some random virus or because she ate something she should not have.
Once we became aware Lola suffered from separation anxiety we began to alter our behavior in hopes of decreasing her level of stress. For instance, when we plan to go away on a trip, and Lola will be with a pet sitter, or if we know a storm is coming, we give her anti-anxiety medication about one hour prior to the event. If at all possible, we delay our packing until the last minute so she does not get the idea we are leaving at that moment, however Lola always seems to know something is up!!! The meds do help minimize the severity of her symptoms but they are no miracle cure by any means. We also try to keep ourselves from becoming anxious in response to Lola's anxiety as we have learned she is very much attune to our emotions and will become more agitated if she senses we are upset.
The decision to give Lola this type of medication was not one we took lightly, and we discussed her care plan at length with her veterinarian prior to starting any kind of medication. Anti-anxiety medications are available only by prescription, and should not be given to a pet without first consulting a veterinarian. If you think your dog could be suffering from separation anxiety, I encourage you to make an appointment with your pet's doctor to discuss a treatment plan.
We dog parents love our babies. Does your dog think it's human? Or maybe it's you who thinks your dog is human inside? How have you handled pet anxiety? You don't have to be a member of Squidoo in order to leave a comment, so please let me know you dropped by for a visit, and share your dog stories with me. I would love to hear them.